Fitting The Bille
Brisbane’s Bille Brown Theatre scores point source upgrade.
Bille Brown Theatre is a beautiful performing arts venue in South Brisbane a short stroll from the Brisbane River. Reopened in October 2018 after a 12-month long renovation, the 351-seat space has been completely redesigned with a corner stage and raked seating. Along with the renovation came the requirement for a new audio system that could deliver crystal clear and impactful sound to every pair of ears in the house.
The technical requirements of Bille Brown Theatre’s new sound system were threefold. Firstly, the boxes had to be relatively lightweight as all loudspeakers would be mounted from the rigging infrastructure above the steel tension net overhanging the width and length of the stage. Secondly, it was crucial the system did not interrupt sight lines to the stage from any seat in the theatre, including the nose-bleed seats. Thirdly, the system needed to provide coverage to every seat while still meeting the previous two criteria.
“Predominantly we use the system for sound effect playback in our theatrical productions,” says Daniel Maddison, Technical Coordinator at Bille Brown Theatre. “But if we ever do hairline microphone reinforcement, we wanted a PA system that incorporated rejection on stage to prevent feedback and give as much headroom as possible given the limited space we now have with the corner stage configuration.”
POINT SOURCE PUNCH
Bille Brown Theatre began its search for the perfect PA by auditioning systems from three big-name contenders, one of which was a d&b Y-Series point source rig.
“Other companies were looking at a distributed mono system,” says Daniel Maddison. “The d&b system was able to provide us with a left/centre/right scenario with out fills. We took that on board and looked at all the coverage prediction plots for the new venue and we were really pleased with the results.”
Doug Pringle from the NAS Projects Team worked with Daniel on a solution based on d&b’s Y10P and Y7P point source loudspeakers known for impeccable vocal clarity and real punch for their size and weight.
The three hangs form an LCR configuration which can also run in stereo with the centre pair acting as a fill. Additionally, two single Y7Ps are mounted vertically on either side of the three centre pairs as outfills.
Two d&b 21S subwoofers are discreetly mounted above the steel tension net in end-fire cardioid configuration to supply heavy-hitting low-end impact in Infra mode.
Every d&b loudspeaker in the Bille Brown system has its own amplifier channel, including the subwoofers and E6 loudspeakers. Two d&b 30D amps and two d&b D20 amps power the entire rig.
Daniel says, “By having that flexibility and extra control over each speaker instead of doing loop thrus, it just means we can push the system that little bit further. It gives us more confidence in those gigs which go beyond the norm.”